Bloomberg, asked earlier Friday about the episode at a station on Queens Boulevard in the Sunnyside neighborhood, pointed to legal and policy changes that led to the release of many mentally ill people from psychiatric institutions from the 1960s through 1990s.
“The courts or the law have changed and said, no, you can’t do that unless they’re a danger to society; our laws protect you. That’s fair enough,” Bloomberg said on “The John Gambling Show with Mayor Mike” on WOR-AM.
Bloomberg leaves it for you to fill in the blanks there: the court has changed the rules since the 1960s, he says, and you can’t involuntarily commit these people who need to be thrown away; and you, dutifully, arrive to the conclusion he is leading you towards: ‘stupid laws’. He wants you to conclude that the laws that ‘protect’ the mentally ill are illogical, that the laws blankly protect the deranged. Something must be done about that, QUICKLY, like for example, HEY, let’s change the laws!!! Let’s go back to the Willowbrook times and involuntarily commit people into houses of torture.
WHAT BLOOMBERG DOESN’T TELL YOU
He doesn’t tell you that in the 1970s and 80s, the reason why the states were mandated by the courts to discharge the mentally ill and people with ‘special needs’ from the psych ‘hospitals’ was that the ABUSES in Willowbrook showed the treatment these people were receiving in those houses of ‘healing’: they were being used for medical experimentation, torture, both children and adults. Please, go back and watch Geraldo Rivera’s documentary about Willowbrook.
Bloomberg doesn’t tell you either that the states ‘complied’ with the court orders at that time by INTENTIONALLY throwing these people to the streets WITHOUT HOUSING OR SERVICES in the community. He doesn’t tell you that the 1980s saw the hard-fought war of communities with the states to house and service these people. All of the major problems we saw with the mentally ill in those years (1980s) were due to the lack of mental health services and housing in the communities because the states refused to put the money there.
Once housing and services started to be put in place, the problems with them subsided significantly. Bloomberg knows this, but he won’t remind you of this because he just wants the easy ‘fix’: lock ’em all up. Hey, it’s good business for the profit seekers, the prison builders. Prisons are now our psych hospitals. Just like in the 1980s.
Look, if you divert TRILLIONS of dollars and use them for ‘permanent wars’, for surveillance equipment in each of our streets corners to ‘protect’ you from who knows what or whom (the only paranoid here seems to be the State and the feds), there is going to be no money for humanity here. It’s not like I’m saying something new or revolutionary. You know this. You just ‘forget’ for some reason.
Of course you are going to see more of these cases! Bloomberg makes cuts to social and mental health services and then expect that the problems HE causes with those cuts can be fixed with a mental health policy of REPRESSION.
He and the governor closed psych hospitals these past two years not because the hospitals alleviated the problems and were unnecessary but despite the problems of mental illness. It’s a mindless policy that functions based on a need for profit. This policy shows that the so-called ‘BEST PRACTICES’ is fiction. You can’t have best practices when the best practice tells you to keep programs open but the state wants to save money by closing them.
I doubt that anyone is against hospitalization IF the policy is to serve the person, not to torture he or she.
It’s a very complex problem. It’s not only what you see, but what you refuse to see in terms of our investment in wars.
CUTS IN FUNDS, FISCAL CLIFF AND PERMANENT WARS = SOCIAL INSTABILITY.
That’s all you need to know.
Make the necessary adjustments: SAY NO TO WARS AND CORPORATE AND BANKSTERS’ GREED.
My condolences to the family of the victim of this horrific incident. No one wins when we save money by withholding treatment.